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Google+ Review

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The wait is finally over. Google+ has been unveiled and Bozboz have been lucky enough to test it out.

The social network, described by some as a potential ‘killer’ of rivals Twitter and Facebook has arrived with less of a bang and more of a thud. With its invite only launch, Google has been keen to stress that the launch is a Field Trial, and that ‘Things may not work as intended.’

Once you have set yourself up by entering some basic info and uploading a photo, you are prompted to begin using what we think is probably the best thing about Google’s new project: Circles.

Circles are a way of grouping your contacts so that you can easily share things with some people and not with others. This means we can share web-dev techniques around the office without boring our friends outside of work.

This appears to be a direct response to the lack of privacy that Facebook is often accused of and works brilliantly. While it’s unlikely to suddenly drive the 500 million Facebook users over to Google+, it will certainly tempt some. Circles really is a great idea and we think Facebook would be foolish not to announce updates to its Groups pages or a similar initiative very soon.

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July 1, 2011 at 3:49 pm

Google Farmer – the Wider Effects

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Penalised by Google?

Google’s latest algorithm update, nicknamed ‘Farmer’ due to its focus on relegating so-called ‘content farms’ (sites that generate reams of low quality content to dominate search rankings), has had a number of unintended effects.

Although most sites are now reporting recovery, many sites that shouldn’t have come under the heading of ‘content farm’ found themselves dropping dramatically in the SERPs. In a by-now notorious piece, Wired highlighted the Cult of Mac ‘losing nearly all of its Google juice in the change’ with disastrous accompanying effects on traffic.

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March 3, 2011 at 12:02 pm

Posted in Tech news

Tagged with ,

Using Online Media to Promote Your Music

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The internet has had a disastrous effect on traditional media, as people are becoming more dependent on blogs, e-zines and social networks to discover music and are less dedicated to the established players filling the racks of your local newsagent. However, as a musician in the 21st century, the NME’s loss is your gain.

Think of your online media campaign as equivalent to gigging. Playing in front of lots of small audiences will build up to a larger fanbase. This in turn will get you gigs in front of bigger audiences and so on. In the same way, start with the smaller, niche blogs and e-zines to gain the exposure that will make larger sites take notice of you.

Be prepared to give stuff away. This will remain true for the whole of your career, but particularly at the beginning. People will only pay for stuff if they want it. If they’ve never heard your music, they won’t know if they want it yet.

The internet is brimming with free tools and opportunities for promoting your music, in a way that just wasn’t possible with traditional media. A little bit of know-how (and a lot of time) can get you a long way.

Having an Angle

This is you.

When attracting press attention, whether online or print, it is vital to have an angle. No one is going to feature you just because you ask. It’s important to tie your contact with an event: a single release, album release or tour are the usual suspects.

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February 8, 2011 at 11:18 am

Facebook Monopoly

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It's even got its own currency.

The launch in the US (and soft-launch in Europe) of Facebook Deals is one more step on the path to social media monopoly for Facebook. It makes sense, and to be honest, criticising it would be hard to defend.

The best social networks are the ones that have the largest user base. Not having to trawl through a hundred different sites to find your mates saves you (and them) time and establishes a convenient standard. When was the last time you were in a pub, met someone and said “Facebook me”? Yesterday, right? Exactly.

As with the establishment of any monopoly, there are competition concerns, but in this case, it’s hard to see that the alternative is any better; particularly when it comes to location based social networks. Foursquare, Gowalla and Google Buzz have all been hyped by those in the industry, and certain “power users”, but have never really taken off with the general public. The potential of these services is enormous – think how interesting the Google Buzz layer on your maps app would actually be if people were using it.

What Facebook Places provides is a platform that almost everybody is already on, and the launch of Deals finally opens up a serious location based channel for small businesses to use as a marketing tool, as well as for consumers to pick up great deals.

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February 3, 2011 at 10:53 am

mflow – (finally) Bringing iTunes and Twitter Together

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We’ve been playing about with mflow for a few months now, but since it’s turned up on Mashable’s radar, we thought it was about time we had a quick look at it.

Broadly speaking, mflow is a music social network with the emphasis on the social. Forget about myspace and Ping, this is not about artists having their own customisable space. This is about discovering music through the recommendations of others. It’s what Spotify still hasn’t got right.

mflow works just like a Twitter feed. You start off by following people (best to start by finding artists/albums you like and following people who have ‘flowed’ that). When they ‘flow’ a track it appears in your inbox and you can listen to the full thing, unrestricted, once. After that it appears as a 30 second preview clip. Follow enough people with music tastes you like and you end up with a customised music recommendation feed.

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January 24, 2011 at 12:16 pm

Posted in Tech news

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The Start of Online Regulation

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The Office of Fair Trading’s (OFT) recent ruling on sponsored tweets represents the first legal ruling in the UK concerning online marketing, and may well be a taste of things to come once the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) officially extends its remit to online in March.

Although the OFT ruling that celebrities will need to disclose if they have been paid to tweet about a brand may seem like a small issue in itself, as tips of the iceberg go, it’s pretty big.

Crunk juice

We have not been paid to feature this drink

Up until this point, the internet has been somewhat akin to California in 1848 – entirely unregulated, allowing anyone to make their fortune in any way they see fit. The OFT ruling, the upcoming ASA extension and even the American clampdown on Wikileaks suggest that the Gold Rush age of the internet may be coming to a close.

The immediate question is what this means for internet marketers. As it stands, it won’t affect the majority of the industry. However, many (certainly less scrupulous) digital agencies do take advantage of the anonymity afforded by the internet, and this may become something that they can no longer rely upon.

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January 17, 2011 at 3:46 pm

Google Previews

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Another week, another new Google feature. So now we have previews available right from the search window. No more pesky clicking on links to find out what the site really looks like, instead just wave your cursor over it and hey presto, a smart little visual preview.

It’s too early to really tell if this is genuinely useful or not, but what we like about it here at Bozboz is that if using the search query it shows up where on the page what you’re searching for is. As an example, here’s a preview for the query ‘ smith’

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November 12, 2010 at 11:13 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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